Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A long, narrow, runnerless sled constructed of thin boards curled upward at the front end.
  • intransitive verb To coast, ride, or travel on a toboggan.
  • intransitive verb Slang To decline or fall rapidly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To slide down-hill on a toboggan.
  • noun A long narrow sled made of a single thickness (about ¼ inch) of wood (commonly birch) curved backward at one end, the curved end being kept in place by leather thongs; originally employed by the Indians of Lower Canada to carry loads over the snow, but now used chiefly in the sport of coasting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A kind of sledge made of pliable board, turned up at one or both ends, used for coasting down hills or prepared inclined planes; also, a sleigh or sledge, to be drawn by dogs, or by hand, over soft and deep snow.
  • intransitive verb To slide down hill over the snow or ice on a toboggan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A long sled without runners, with the front end curled upwards, which may be pulled across snow by a cord or used to coast down hills.
  • noun North America A similar sled of wood, pulled by dogs, possibly with steel runners, made to transport cargo.
  • noun southern US a winter hat or ski mask
  • noun Something which, once it starts going (figuratively) downhill, is unstoppable until it reaches the bottom.
  • verb to slide down a hill on a toboggan or other object
  • verb to (figuratively) go downhill unstoppably until one reaches the bottom.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a long narrow sled without runners; boards curve upward in front
  • verb move along on a luge or toboggan

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Canadian French tobagan, from Mi'kmaq topaghan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The noun is attested since 1829, the verb since 1846. Both derive from French tabaganne, which derives from an Algonquian word, probably the Mi'kmaq tepaqan or the Abenaki dabôgan, influenced by similar words in other Eastern Canadian Indian languages. The US sense, "hat", is recorded in 1929, and toboggan cap in 1928.

Examples

  • Indeed the toboggan was a real hill of ice now, though the frozen covering was thin.

    The Curlytops and Their Playmates or Jolly Times Through the Holidays

  • In soft snow on a level surface like the river bed or through the Flat country, generally, the toboggan is much the more convenient vehicle, for it rides over the snow instead of ploughing through it, but on hard snow anywhere or on grades the toboggan is a nuisance.

    Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska

  • We each of us had manufactured a toboggan, which is a small sleigh composed of a long thin slip of willow wood turned up in front.

    Snow Shoes and Canoes The Early Days of a Fur-Trader in the Hudson Bay Territory

  • To accommodate the two planes 'difference in speed, the pilots had to use a complicated maneuver called a toboggan in order to get the tanker and the transport plane close enough to refuel.

    Omaha World-Herald > Frontpage

  • Canada's next gold medal could be in the sport, also known as toboggan, and it could be around the neck of an Alberta cowgirl on Friday.

    Toronto Sun

  • Canada's next gold medal could be in the sport, also known as toboggan, and it could be around the neck of an Alberta cowgirl on Friday.

    Toronto Sun

  • After the accident, the ski patrol was called, and she was taken off the hill in a toboggan, which is standard protocol, according to reports.

    George Loper's Website

  • aka toboggan accident Yes... well, near one at least.

    Just a Cosmo Girl!

  • An eight-paddle blower dispenses the material through a 300° swivel chute that can also place fodder along a feed barrier by directing on to the sloping 'toboggan' slide.

    FWi - All News

  • (Er, that's the "toboggan" CAP and not the toboggan SLED for some of our most welcomed East Tennessee transplants.)

    The Oak Ridger Home RSS

Comments

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  • In parts of the south, especially the Appalachian region, the word toboggan means a knit cap worn in winter (a watchcap, toque). As in...you better put on your toboggan before you go out in that snow or you'll freeze your head.

    September 10, 2009